METRO MANILA, Philippines – To improve the processes related to the certification for Philippine Good Agricultural Practices (PhilGAP), the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) partnered with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) to conduct a training on communication skills for PhilGAP inspectors.
With the title “Back to Basics: Training on Effective Communication Skills for PhilGAP Inspectors”, the activity was held for two batches of 67 PhilGAP inspectors from different agencies, units, and offices under the Department of Agriculture (DA) from different regions nationwide.
ATI Information Services Division Chief Antonieta Arceo served as their resource person. She discussed topics on communication, communication ethics, critical listening, clear and effective writing, packaging reports, and basic photography.
“The new communication approach views communication as both transmission and meaning negotiation and rethinks how information becomes knowledge and practices,” Arceo told the participants.
As part of the training, the participants were asked to write reflection papers and answer exercises on basic English concepts including subject-verb agreement, grammar, punctuation marks, prepositions, redundant phrases, among others. The group was also asked to write different types of letter, improve and package their existing reports, complete individual inspection checklists and inspection reports, and depict different scenarios during a farm inspection through skits.
“Inspectors play a very important role in the implementation of the PhilGAP program in our country. We are the ones who do initial inspection to ensure that a farm has complied with the standards and requirements of the program. As frontliners, it is important for us to be properly equipped not only on the technical aspects of PhilGAP but also with good communication skills,” said Shyrra Lara, a senior research specialist from DA Regional Field Office in Central Visayas.
Meanwhile, as part of her action plan, Jane Veena Pelle, Agriculturist II from BPI-Plant Product Safety and Services Division, noted, “I promise that I will share what I learned from this training and to read more to enhance my writing skills.”
The first training was held last November 6-10, 2017 in Pasay City while the second batch was trained on November 20-24 in Ermita, Manila.